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Great Coats for Grads

By Lauren Levinson

Outerwear can be a shock to the bank account, but probably more so than any wardrobe staple, a quality coat is an investment with high returns. Depending on where you live, you might wear it on over half the days of the year, driving the cost-per-wear ratio down to a very reasonable level. Plus you won’t freeze to death, and you probably won’t get sick as much. The list of benefits goes on…let’s check in with Gradspot’s fashion Gestapo to learn about some fresh coats that will keep you warm for many winters to come.


Sure, snow bunnies are hot and probably the fantasy of every guy you’re dating, but while that bubble jacket was great for walking to class with those please-throw-them-out-already (ugh) Ugg boots, a working woman requires more refined insulation. Nothing says Girl Power (yes, the Spice Girl reunion world tour also begins this winter) like a classy coat, such as this Clean Tweed Coat from Topshop. You keep hearing that belts are in, so take our advice and don’t waste your waist (‘cause it won’t look the same in 10 years): this Marc New York Belted Coat is a great choice, and the high collar will save you if you forget a scarf. If you’re like me and you live in dresses and tights (FYI: we’re now in wool tights season), you’ll need a longer coat. I recommend the Willow Wisp Fur Hooded Cloak by Free People since it’s got it all—toggle buttons, a fur hood, and plaid flannel lining. Another winner is the Wool-blended Collarless Coat by Banana Republic, because I love winter-whites and big buttons. – Lauren Levinson


For all purposes, you can’t really go wrong with an Authentic Peacoat by J.Crew. Sure, a pea coat has a little bit of preppy girl feel to it, but when paired with a smart pair of cords it can make almost any man presentable. That said, if you think you are man enough to pull off the elusive “rugged and refined” look, this Yukon Wool Weekender is well worth the price. It’s made by the Northwest coast outfitter Filson and is probably more durable than anything in your wardrobe. If your office requires suit and tie, owning a proper top coat is of primary importance. Again, there is a struggle. Do you buy wool? Sure, it looks sharp in both black and camel, but when it rains or sleets you have to carry an unmanly umbrella. One alternative is to rock a mackintosh with an optional zip-in liner for colder days—try this Ralph Lauren Raincoat. (If you insist on wool, this Kenneth Cole Whistler Diagonal Stripe Overcoat will do the trick nicely.) Finally, if you only have room in your budget for one coat and don’t work in a formal office, a quality soft shell is a great addition to your winter arsenal. Wind- and waterproof, lightweight, and still clean enough to not raise eyebrows—whether you’re heading to work or climbing a mountain, Patagonia’s Super Guide Jacket has got you covered. – Arnold T. Pants

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